The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has reacted to claims making the rounds that COVID-19 and Malaria are similar.

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has commended efforts of the Kwara State Government in the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.

The NCDC Team Leader, Dr Okoli Innocent, made the commendation when he led other members of the agency to inspect laboratories in preparation for establishing of Molecular Testing Centre in the state to test for the virus.

Okoli explained that the Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, was appreciative of the present administration’s strides in the health sector.

The team leader pledged NCDC’s support to the state in the fight against COVID-19.

He added that NCDC was not surprised that the state was ranked fourth in preparation for health emergency in the country, given the availability of modern medical equipment.

Kwara has provided 10 ventilators, six gene Xperts and ICU beds among other equipment, in the state’s health facilities visited by the team.

Okoli, who is a Molecular Biology expert, assured that as soon as the team’s final report on staff training and re-training, provision of more molecular diagnostic equipment, as well as reorganisation of laboratories was concluded, the NCDC would swing into action to optimise and increase the state’s testing capacity.


Responding, the Chairman of Technical Committee on COVID-19 and Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Kayode Alabi, appreciated the NCDC for the move to establish a Molecular Testing Centre in the state.

Alabi who was represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Razaq, added that the priority of the state governor was to reduce medical tourism both for diagnosis and treatment in the state.

Alabi expressed optimism that Kwara would soon own a Molecular laboratory for COVID-19 testing, stressing that the state will no longer have to take samples to Ede in Osun State or Ibadan in Oyo State for testing.

Newsmen report that other members of the technical committee who received the NCDC team included the Chairman, Kwara House of Assembly Committee on Health, Mr Razaq Owolabi; Chairman of Subcommittee on Medical Advisory, Dr Femi Oladiji, and Dr Oluwatosin Fakayode.

The NCDC team had earlier donated 1,000 pieces each of Viral Transport Medium, Swab sticks and Tongue depressors as well as 320 pieces of Falcon Tubes.

The team also inspected the Public Health Laboratory, Harmony Diagnostic Centre and the former Sobi Specialist Hospital which had been turned to COVID-19 Infectious Disease Centre.

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